Oily fish is a great source of omega 3 fatty acids. These essential fatty acids have been linked to reduced inflammation in joints and muscles; heart health and fatigue. Individuals who are physically active should aim for at least 2 servings of oily fish a week. Mackerel is also a great source of zinc which is necessary for optimal functioning of many of the body’s processes, including testosterone production. Low levels of zinc have been associated with poor muscle mass gains and loss of appetite in athletes.

Nutrition Tip: try making this easy smoked mackerel dip that can be served with baked sweet potato and salad as a great recovery meal.

Blend 2 smoked mackerel fillets with ½ juice of lemon and 80g cream cheese.

Smoked Mackerel and Sweet potato Fish Cakes

Smoked Mackerel is a great source of omega 3 fatty acids and Vitamin D, making this a great recovery choice to help repair muscle damage.

Serve with pittas for extra carbs after a tough track session or with a large salad for lunch on a steady run day.

Makes 8, serves 4

  • 500g sweet potato
  • 500g/1lb 2oz smoked mackerel fillets
  • 4–6 spring onions/scallions, finely sliced
  • 1 handful chopped coriander/cilantro leaves
  • ½ tsp chilli/hot pepper flakes
  • wholemeal bread flour, for dusting
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, for frying
  1. Put the sweet potatoes in the microwave and cook for about 6–7 minutes until they are soft and cooked through (alternatively you can bake in the oven at 190ºC/375ºF/Gas 5 for about 45 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes). Allow to cool a little, then scrape the flesh out into a mixing bowl.
  2. Flake the mackerel, and mix with mashed sweet potato. Add spring onions/scallions, chilli/hot pepper flakes and coriander, and mix everything together well. Shape the mixture into 8 patties and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Dust the patties with flour, shaking off any excess. Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and lightly fry the patties until golden brown, turning over halfway through cooking. Drain on paper towels and serve with a beetroot and feta salad

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Renne McGregor, Performance Dietician